Stevie Y is the man for 2010

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

QUEBEC CITY -- Steve Yzerman won't come out and say that he wants Wayne Gretzky's old job as general manager of Team Canada at the Olympics.

But he showed up here yesterday and did say that he'd like to be part of it.

Yzerman put together a pretty talented team to play in this first-ever IIHF World Hockey Championships to be held in Canada, convincing several players it wouldn't hurt their chances to be part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

But does the new Detroit Red Wings executive - who put together a gold medal team for Canada at his first crack at it last year in Moscow - have the same motivation?

"I think everybody wants to be a part of the Olympics in Canada in 2010," he said.

"The players, the coaches, the managers and the media," he added.

"I've enjoyed the experience I've had last year and so far this year. I intend to stay in hockey in a management role. These are great learning experiences.

"There is so much more that goes into being a general manager in the NHL dealing with coaches and decision making and salary caps and everything. It's all new to me. But this experience is invaluable.

"Until I became involved with Team Canada, my contact with most of the general managers and people in that side of the game has mostly been shaking their hands. In this role, you have to talk to them and make a lot of decisions."

This year, he admits, was nothing compared to putting together a team to go to a place where not everybody wanted to go compared to a one-off experience of playing for their country in the only world championships ever held in the country.

"There was a great response this year," he said.

"The players had a lot of enthusiasm. I was pretty pleased with it. There were only a couple disappointments. There were a couple decisions we had to make at the end."

Yzerman said he won't likely be bringing in Sidney Crosby - who turned him down last year - or any other player who might become available after the second round of the playoffs.

And this year will be a lot easier on Yzerman as Detroit proceeds in the playoffs.

Last year he flew home from Moscow to watch a game. This year, with all of Canada's games at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, he'll have no problem watching the Wings series games on TV.

"I returned from Moscow for a family thing and a Red Wings game," he said of the trip home for an event involving his daughter before he returned to watch Canada proceed through the playoffs and to the gold medal.

"The games didn't come on until 3 a.m. in Moscow so I didn't sleep a whole lot last year," said the Team Canada GM who arrived here after watching Detroit open their series at home with the Colorado Avalanche.

"This year will be pretty easy on me."

And maybe this time the Red Wings will still be playing when it's over.


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